Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be a time for pests. Ants, wasps, and other summer pests can ruin your enjoyment of the outdoors, and they can even pose a health risk. We offer our tips on how to prevent and get rid of summer pests but start with those that are more prevalent in summer:
Common Summer Pests
Ants are one of the most common household pests. They are attracted to food and water, and they can quickly become a nuisance. There are many different types of ants, but some of the most common ones include:
- Black/Garden Ant (lasius niger)
- Yellow Meadow Ant (lasius flavus)
- Red Ant (myrmica rubra)
- Red Wood Ant/Horse Ant (formica rufa)
- Black Wood Ant (formica fusca)
- Black Stinging Ant (tetramorium caespitum)
Ants enter the home looking for food, Often it is just a small number of ants that come to ‘check out the situation’ before returning to the nest to alert the others. Then, a little later, you may discover a number of ants. While you can try and deal with them in small numbers, it is often difficult to get rid of them and you need help to identify the source.
Wasps are another common summer pest. They are attracted to sweet foods and drinks, and they can be aggressive if they feel threatened. There are many different types of wasps, but some of the most common ones include:
- Common/German wasp (Vespula vulgaris/germanica)
- European hornet (Vespa crabro)
- Yellow-legged Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)
- Red wasp (Vespula rufa)
- Dolichovespula species
Wasps become more of a nuisance as the summer progresses when the nest runs out of food and its inhabitants go further afield to find it.
Cluster flies are a type of fly that overwinters in homes and other buildings. They typically emerge in the spring, and they can be a nuisance when they start to fly around. Cluster flies are not known to transmit diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in some people.
In isolation, the odd fly can be dealt with although they do tend to have a habit of entering through a tiny space and then failing to escape through an enormous one. If you have a nest of flies close to your property, it is better to call on the experts, especially if you are operating a business.
Other summer pests
In addition to ants, wasps, and cluster flies, there are a number of other summer pests that can be a nuisance. These include:
- Mice and Rats (but less so in summer when they tend to live outside
Preventing Summer Pests
We always say that prevention is better than cure and that is so true in this case. The best way to prevent summer pests is to take steps to keep them from coming into your home or yard in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Keep your home clean and free of food scraps. Ants and other pests are attracted to food, so it’s important to keep your kitchen and dining areas clean. Sweep and mop floors regularly, and wipe down countertops and tables after meals.
- Seal up any cracks or holes in your home’s foundation or exterior walls. Pests can use these openings to get inside your home.
- Trim back trees and shrubs that are close to your home. This will make it more difficult for pests to climb up to your roof or windows.
- Remove standing water from your yard. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so it’s important to empty any birdbaths, buckets, or other containers that may collect water.
- Avoid leaving pet food or water bowls outside. Pet food and water bowls are a major attractant for ants, cockroaches, and other pests.
- Install door sweeps and weatherstripping around your doors and windows. This will help to keep pests out of your home.
- Use screens on your windows and doors. This will help to keep pests from flying in.
- Install pest-proof vents. Pest-proof vents will help to keep pests out of your attic and crawlspace.
- Have your home inspected by a pest control professional. A pest control professional can identify potential pest problems and recommend preventive measures.
Getting rid of summer pests
If you do find pests in your home or yard, there are a number of things you can do to get rid of them. Here are some tips:
- Identify the pest. The first step in getting rid of a pest is to identify it. Once you know what kind of pest you’re dealing with, you can choose the most effective treatment.
- Use traps or baits. Traps and baits can be an effective way to get rid of ants, cockroaches, and other pests. Be sure to place traps in areas where the pests are active.
- Use pesticides. If traps and baits don’t work, you may need to use pesticides. Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.
- Call a professional pest control company. If you have a serious pest infestation, you may need to call a professional pest control company.
While DIY methods may work in some cases, often, and especially in the case of a wasp nest, it is advisable to call in the professionals who are experienced and skilled at dealing with all kinds of summer pests. We will be more than happy to offer our advice and to arrange for a visit from our pest control specialists. Call us on 01752 929292.